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Scott Hodge Tax Foundation

Scott Hodge

President Emeritus & Senior Policy Advisor

Scott Hodge is President Emeritus & Senior Policy Advisor at the Tax Foundation, which he led as President for over two decades, between 2000 and 2022. Scott Hodge is recognized as one of Washington’s leading experts on tax policy, the federal budget, and government spending. After taking over the Tax Foundation, he grew the organization from a modest, six-person group with a storied brand into a national powerhouse with a staff of over 30, informing smarter tax policy at the federal, state, and global levels.

Scott led the development of the Tax Foundation’s most successful programs, the Taxes and Growth Dynamic Tax Modeling project and the State Business Tax Climate Index, two projects that have changed the terms of the tax debate, encouraged competition towards pro-growth tax policies, and demonstrated to policymakers and taxpayers alike the impact of the tax code on our daily lives. Combined with his experience in tax policy of more than 35 years, Scott was one of the driving forces of tax reform that culminated in the historic 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). Congress and the White House turned to Scott and the Tax Foundation for guidance in crafting the once-in-a-generation legislation.

The TCJA was just the latest in a string of developments in tax policy that Scott helped foster. During the 1990s, he helped design the major tax components of the Contract with America that became the eventual centerpieces of the 1997 tax bill and the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and 2003.

Scott has written and edited three books on the federal budget and streamlining the government and has authored hundreds of studies on tax policy and government spending. He has also written dozens of editorials and opinion pieces for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA TODAY, the New York Post and The Washington Times. And he has conducted more than 1,000 radio and television interviews—including with NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, CNN, Fox, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and C-SPAN.

Before joining the Tax Foundation, Scott was Director of Tax and Budget Policy at Citizens for a Sound Economy. He also spent ten years at The Heritage Foundation as a fellow analyzing budget and tax policy. He holds a degree in political science from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Latest Work

Watch: Coronavirus: A Path to Economic Recovery

What challenges should we expect to face as the U.S. economy begins to re-open? When is the right time for legislators to start focusing on long-term recovery vs. short-term needs? What policies should federal legislators pursue to clear a path to recovery?

1 min read

Tax Policy After Coronavirus: Clearing a Path to Economic Recovery

Governments at all levels must work to remove the tax policy barriers that stand in the way of economic recovery and long-term prosperity following the COVID-19 crisis. Our new guide outlines several comprehensive options that policymakers can take at the federal and state levels.

26 min read
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act offshoring OECD BEPS project, OECD consultation document, OECD multinationals, Consumption tax policies in OECD countries, Consumption taxes in OECD countries

Is Now the Time for a $100 billion Tax Increase?

Seemingly unconcerned about how the digital project could impact the economy at this crisis moment, officials at the OECD recently released a statement boasting that they are continuing to work “full steam” on their global digital tax project.

5 min read
business pay fair share, do corporations pay their fair share in taxes? business tax collections , business fair share taxes

U.S. Businesses Pay or Remit 93 Percent of All Taxes Collected in America

Setting aside the debate over whether a low tax bill is fair, what is missed in such stories is that American businesses are critical to the tax collection system at every level of government—federal, state, and local. Businesses either pay or remit more than 93 percent of all the taxes collected by governments in the U.S. Without businesses as their taxpayers and tax collectors, American governments would not have the resources to provide even the most basic services.

5 min read
Tax Foundation Response to OECD Public Consultation Document: Addressing the Tax Challenges of the Digitalization of the Economy, OECD, digital economy tax, OECD public consultation

Tax Foundation Response to OECD Public Consultation Document: Addressing the Tax Challenges of the Digitalization of the Economy

Though the challenges to international tax policy are many, the OECD has a chance to work toward a system that creates fewer distortions and negative economic effects than the current one. However, given the policies on the table, it will certainly take quite an effort to avoid further complexity of international tax rules that creates challenges to global trade and economic prosperity.

17 min read
Money, The Real Lesson of 70 Percent Tax Rates on Entrepreneurial Income, U.S. tax code progressive tax code, income inequality, Saez and Zucman, income tax rich

The Real Lesson of 70 Percent Tax Rates on Entrepreneurial Income

The fall and then rise of entrepreneurial income claimed on the wealthy’s 1040 tax returns clearly tracks the seeming decline of inequality from 1950 to 1980, followed by the sudden rise in inequality since 1986. The shifting composition of income claimed by the rich due to changes in tax laws explains this illusion.

12 min read
2018 International Tax Competitiveness Index

2018 International Tax Competitiveness Index

The structure of a country’s tax code is an important determinant of its economic performance. Our 2018 international tax rankings provide a road map for each of the 35 OECD countries to improve the structure of their tax codes and achieve a more neutral, more competitive tax system.

11 min read